How to celebrate Halloween while preventing the spread of COVID-19

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (Oct. 13, 2020) – While the City of Oak Ridge does not regulate Halloween activity, we do want to provide some health safety tips amid the COVID-19 pandemic and some alternatives to celebrating the spooky season.

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. If you may have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), these are some low-risk activities:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household or outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt outdoors, admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest

If you wish to trick-or-treat, the CDC recommends participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard). If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.

A costume mask should not be used as a primary face mask unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

In addition to health safety measures, remember to bring a flashlight or wear reflective clothing so drivers and other trick-or-treaters can spot you, look for ‘flame resistant’ on costume labels before buying, and be sure shoes fit well and costumes are short enough to prevent tripping.

As a reminder, the Oak Ridge Recreation and Parks Department will host a drive-through Children’s Halloween Party (Halloween Hollow) on Thursday, Oct. 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Oak Ridge Civic Center. More information on the event and Halloween safety can be found at OakRidgeTN.gov.